by Shane Mac
I have never really considered myself a leader. I just always try to help out where I can and help others see that they can do what they didn’t think they could.
A lot of people can do that. What I have really found is that it is more about letting people know it is all right to talk about the bad, the negative, the things they don’t like. If you can’t get people to open up about what is not working, then they will just keep digging a bigger hole and become more unhappy.
Here is what I mean: I will use a phone call with a friend the other day as an example. This happens often to me.
Friend: It’s going good man. (With no enthusiasm.)
Me: Awesome, what are you doing at work…
(This will go on for an extended time… and then the conversation usually ends like this:)
Friend: Man, actually, I hate my job. I just don’t know where to look or what I want to do.
Me: You never will. I believe that we will never know exactly what we want to do. You have to start building better relationships and find a job that you think you would enjoy and that could be a challenge.
It is about working at a company or starting a company where you feel passionate about the product you are producing. You have to have a sense of pride in the end product or you will never excel to what you can truly be. Find your flaws, talk about what you don’t like, amplify them, be honest about them, and try to get others to do the same.
I think that is a leadership quality that is often forgotten.
Am I a leader? I don’t know exactly. I know that I love being part of a team and helping others get to their full potential. I find more reward in enabling others than what I do myself sometimes. Leaders don’t need a title and can come from any level.
If you want to be seen as a leader, you will have to be one before you are seen as one. Start today by giving some fist pumps around the office and saying “Let’s do something awesome.” It’s a start and it can grow from there. Give everyone a purpose.
Note: This is an exclusive excerpt from Chapter 19 of the author’s new book. To read more of the 75 different essays, check out his book, Stop With The BS, available here.
Shane Mac is the Director of Product at Zaarly. He’s the founder of Hello There and previously spearheaded marketing for Seattle-based Gist, which sold to BlackBerry. Shane is also an author, a professional musician voted best wedding band in 2009 and has been featured on the NYtimes, Wall Street Journal, CNN and the USA Today.